Last Saturday has witnessed a wave of attacks by security forces against journalists and press teams who were covering the protests at Altahrir square in Baghdad. Live broadcast was prohibited and all means of live coverage was closely followed and banned.
Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq learnt from its trusted sources that a number of media bodies like Dijlah, Alwalaa, Alarabiya, Alahad and NRT, were subjected to attacks and were abused.
Dijlah satellite channel staff was imposed to being abused and beaten and their live broadcasting equipment was destroyed by security forces. The aggressions went on as they confiscated Alwalaa and Alahad staffs. NRT Alarabiya cadre received a fair share of the tear gas attack, resulting in the suffocation of its correspondent thus seeking healthcare in a near shop. It is to be noticed that all live broadcasts were cut at the instance of the protestors flooding the Jumhouriya Bridge leading to the Green Zone.
Press Freedom Advocacy Association in Iraq holds the GOI full responsibility for these attacks and stresses upon the fact that frequently abusing and attacking journalists in demonstration squares and areas is considered a dire violation to the Iraqi constitution that secured press freedom especially that live broadcast for such events is meant for both public and government at the same time and it’s the only authenticated source of information at such times.
The Association demands that PM , Chief in Command for Armed Forces, opens an interrogation concerning the incident and holding high ranking security officials responsible for issuing such orders in Altahrir square. At the same time it calls on international organizations to interfere for the sake of wasted rights in Iraq, and to press upon the Iraqi government to erase the growing limitations in the field of media and journalism in the country.
Four press teams attacked in Tahrir demonstrations in Baghdad